‘Now we have all this accessibility to Milwaukee and Chicago’

By Melinda Tichelaar


Molly Polk, 32, and Ryan Polk, 32

Moved here from Elmira, N.Y., in summer 2013.

Molly and Ryan Polk first came to visit Kenosha on a beautiful spring day in 2013. At the time, Molly was working at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. But her former boss, Gregory Woodward, had been named president of Carthage College and he asked her to consider moving to Kenosha.

“We were blown away. We went to downtown Kenosha and drove all around the area. We went to several open houses. We loved it,” Molly said.

Molly is from upstate New York, so moving to Wisconsin meant moving away from family. But the proximity of Mitchell Airport has made traveling “home” easy. And if they want a big city experience, it’s easy to get to Milwaukee and Chicago.

“We had lived in Philly for a long time and didn’t realize how much we missed it. But now we have all this accessibility to Chicago and Milwaukee — shows, athletic events, restaurants,” she said. “Milwaukee has a great food scene.”

Ryan is the founder of campsandtournaments.com, and his work can be done almost anywhere with access to Wi-Fi and an airport. Molly said she is thrilled with her job as vice president of communications at Carthage.

“It’s a beautiful campus with gorgeous facilities,” she said. “To be able to tell that story of such a beautiful place is exciting for me. This is a great opportunity.”

The lower cost of living here in Kenosha is another plus. Real estate website Zillow said the current median home price in Kenosha is $113,900; in Ithaca, it’s $234,900. The Polks consider the housing prices in Kenosha “very reasonable” and bought a house this winter, something Molly believes would not have been possible back in Ithaca.

“Over Christmas, so many people (in New York) said, ‘Do you feel like you made the right decision?’ This was the right decision for us. We are really happy.”


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